” The Scrum Guide (from scrum.org) states that it is “an ongoing process” that “usually consumes no more than 10% of the capacity of the Development Team.” The Scaled Agile Framework … Backlog refinement is the process of discussing, breaking down, gathering details, and estimating backlog item. The focus is on what is needed and why, rather than on how to solve the business need.
However, in a complex environment without experts knowing the answers to all problems, merely stuffing all requirements thrown at you into a Jira project won’t do the trick. More important than the list itself is creating a process around feeding validated hypotheses into the Product Backlog. For that purpose, consider the above-mentioned Product Backlog principles to help you succeed with this creative challenge. The Scrum Master is not needed in the meeting, but is important in helping the rest of the team understand what makes a good Product Backlog item and how you prioritize them to maximize value delivered.
But if you only look at your backlog once per Sprint it’s going to be a hot mess. He has spent his career helping people and organizations around the world communicate better. He originally hails from Wales, but lives and works in Munich, Germany. The backlog has to be well prioritised for this process to take place. Maybe priorities also shift mid-Sprint and items need to be shifted around. Ideally, everyone will have chosen a similar number, leading to a quick discussion about how many hours the task will take.
Product Backlog Refinement is a session where the team discusses the items that should find their way into the Sprint Backlog. PBR is not just about adding and removing items; it’s also about making sure that team members understand the details of each item. I find that when teams are struggling with product backlog refinement, it is often because they don’t have the right people in https://globalcloudteam.com/ the room. The team lacks knowledge of the business request and struggle to identify acceptance criteria or to break the item down. More mature teams may find it more effective to refine backlog items during sprint planning. Or they may treat refinement as a continuous flow and leave refinement of the backlog items until mid-sprint when they are ready to develop the backlog item.
The Challenge Of Backlog Refinement
Keeping the backlog DEEP, ensures that items with the highest priority, the ones at the top of the Product Backlog, have a refinement level that’s ready for implementation. Backlog refinement is about creating shared understanding on what the Product will, and won’t, do and on what it will take to create it. Trying to refine everything in one go denies you the advantages of perspective. Refinement is an iterative process that allows the understanding of an item to improve before it is taken into a sprint.
Backlog refinement or backlog grooming stands for keeping the backlog up to date and getting backlog items ready for delivery. On a related note, a good facilitator will keep the product backlog refinement sessions short and encourage everyone to stay focused. It means that even before you get to the Sprint Planning meeting, there are well-defined tasks ready to be moved to the Sprint Backlog. The Scrum Master should also attend backlog refinement meetings, either to sit-in or to facilitate discussions. Product Backlog items that can be Done by the Scrum Team within one Sprint are deemed ready for selection in a Sprint Planning event.
The main agile scrum artifacts are product backlog, sprint backlog, and increments. Product Backlog refinement is the act of adding detail, estimates, and order to items in the Product Backlog. Through discussion with the Product Owner, the Developers select items from the Product Backlog to include in the current Sprint. The Scrum Team may refine these items during this process, which increases understanding and confidence. Each event in Scrum is a formal opportunity to inspect and adapt Scrum artifacts. These events are specifically designed to enable the transparency required.
At the third level, we find PBIs that are sized appropriately for a sprint—they can be completed in days rather than weeks. These items meet the team’s Definition of Ready and Product Backlog Refinement can be represented as user stories. One question that comes up fairly often is “how often should our team do backlog refinement and how much time should we spend doing it?
Backlog Refinement Helps Teams Maintain Velocity
Team refinement meetings offer a dedicated time when you can riff off each other to add additional detail to stories, validate proposals, and do story estimation using t-shirt sizing or Sprint Poker. At its core, backlog refinement is the act of adding more and more detail to backlog items over time using different techniques. After the previous steps are complete, the user story is ready to put in the Backlog. If your team uses Jira, you can activate Jira integration in Miro and convert stickers with user stories to Jira cards within the board. Depending on the project, we either keep a Backlog visible on the board or move it to Jira (or any other tool the client’s team uses). The refinement stage is now complete, and you can start your Sprint.
Dependencies oftenturn into impedimentsand can grind a team to a halt. While you may not avoid them all, you should try to reduce them where possible. This is especially important for dependencies outside the Scrum Team.
Most people find that they need to break a large group like this down into Scrum Teams. This may speed the estimating process but it undermines group understanding and ownership, and teams don’t get the benefit of the wisdom of the whole group. In fact, some agile experts advise that you ditch the numbers entirely and certainly don’t use them beyond the team. As part of the backlog process, teams will usually estimate the size of the item. The estimation, if done properly, can serve as a good test for whether or not the team is aligned. I don’t see it as much of an issue and if these types of things occur, they are easy to coach around.
One Thought On product Backlog Refinement: 14 First Principles
🃏 Estimation techniques, such as T-shirt sizing or Sprint Poker help teams estimate effort needed to complete a backlog item. In practice, the Product Owner will introduce a backlog item and ask members of the development team to state their best estimate of how large or small the item is, using t-shirt sizes. And multiple backlog items with user stories sit under an Epic, which is a larger piece of work such as a feature update. Depending on where you maintain your backlog, your daily practice may involve holding discussions about backlog items within Jira or GitHub.
You can import issues to the board, convert sticker to Jira cards or create new cards right on the board. The Developers who will be doing the work are responsible for the sizing. The Product Owner may influence the Developers by helping them understand and select trade-offs.
It’s also called story time, pre-planning, and backlog management. The Product Backlog refinement is a continuous process to create actionable Product Backlogs, enabling a Scrum Team to run Sprint Plannings at a moment’s notice. Consequently, refinement is about creating alignment among all team members about the Why, the What, the How, and probably even the Who regarding the upcoming work for the Scrum team’s Product Goal. As a result, Product Backlog refinement is a critical success factor as it drastically increases the team’s capability to deliver valuable Increments regularly.
But sometimes developers do not take a deep look into the backlog until the refinement meeting. Teams can end up using their precious time together trying to remember what the backlog items are and why they were added. The purpose of this analogy is to show that backlog refinement helps your team maintain sprint velocity. That way the team always knows what’s the next big thing even if the product owner is not around. Typically, only items which have been previously been reviewed by the three amigos should make it to the product refinement meeting.
Backlog Refinement: What It Is And Why & How You Do It?
The Product Backlog Refinement in Scrum does not fall under the main Scrum Events as a formal meeting structure. This implies that these Product Backlog sessions can take various forms in different companies. The same also implies to the attendees for these sessions, as they also vary among the organizations. There is no hard-and-fast rule for who needs to attend the sessions. However, all the members of the meeting are the people who work directly or indirectly affect the project, the organization, and the strategic goal of the project. All the attendees are the facilitators of the meeting and not the commander, and hence, their word is not final.
- You really should have at least 2 or 3 Sprints’ worth of fully refined items.
- This helpsthe Development Team build the right thingto meet the need.
- Outside stakeholders may attend by invitation of the team, although this is rare in most companies.
- By properly estimated, I mean that each person on the team has had a chance to provide input to the estimation.
Joel Bancroft-Connors is a Principal Consultant at Applied Frameworks and a Scrum Alliance Certified Team Coach®. Known to many as “The Gorilla Coach,” he offers more than 20 years of experience coaching teams and managing products at blue chip software companies. As a bare minimum, try for three hours per sprint, less than five percent of the total working hours of a two-week sprint.
Level Of Granularity Of Pbis
A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint. The Product Backlog is often ordered by value, risk, priority, and necessity. To size or re-size – If the Team has already sized a PBI, ask whether the Team has learned anythin new by asking for a Roman Vote. If the Team has learned nothing new, and then move onto the next PBI. Design Spikes – After a formal, collaborative Backlog Refinement session, the Team identifies which future Stories have significant unknowns and several potential ways of implementing them.
By the same token, spending 10% of your time on backlog refinement doesn’t mean scheduling one meeting at the end of your Sprint and ignoring your backlog until then. 👑 The Product Owner is responsible for the backlog, but the development team should work together on refinement. In this article we’ve discussed what backlog refinement is, who is responsible for the backlog, why it’s so important, and we’ve gone over some of the main techniques for refining the backlog. This process helps to appropriately size items and assign them a value in terms of hours of work. Estimation is important because it helps teams make sure they are taking a reasonable amount of work on in each Sprint. There are oh-so-many techniques you can use to take rough backlog items and polish them into shape.
One Product Backlog is used to describe the upcoming work on the product. The Product Backlog is an artifact that helps provide transparency. It is the “single source of truth” for what is planned in the product. Adding details increases transparency to what you plan to deliver, as well as your progress. But one important fact is that this session does not have a specific guest list.
Saving prioritization activities for the refinement meeting might be the safest way of ensuring everyone is aware of why items have moved up or down the backlog. One is phrased as a user story and the other is phrased as an end goal. Developers and engineers should also be adding detail to backlog items as and when new information is available. But unlike other agile rituals, such as retrospectives and daily standups, teams have a lot of flexibility on how and when they do backlog refinement. User stories are frequently documented in text format because of the user story mantra. Running every phase on the board helps the team and me use visual aids throughout the process.